FARMINGTON — Most families exchange clothes or games or knick-knacks when it comes to Christmas presents.
Jason Giles got a racehorse this past Christmas from his grandmother, and that racehorse is now a stakes winner.
Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, trained by Jason's father Wes Giles, remains undefeated in three lifetime starts while earning the biggest win of his career Sunday when he scored a three-fourths length victory over heavily-favored Winter Haven in the $95,400 Four Corners Futurity at SunRay Park & Casino.
A New Mexico-bred daughter of Makin Moves, Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle broke perfectly from the gate in the Futurity, opened up a short lead midway down the stretch and prevailed as much the best, while running the 350 yards in a fast final time of 17.36, nearly one-fifth of a second faster than she did just 16 days earlier when winning her trial heat under jockey Martin Bourdieu, who was aboard for the win Saturday.
"She just broke so well from the gate," Bourdieu said after the race. "She's just really, really good right now. I could feel the other horse (Winter Haven) to the outside, but she just got going more late."
It's impossible to know for sure if Winter Haven, the eventual runner-up, would have fared any better had she not encountered a bit of trouble at the start.
It appeared that Winter Haven, the fastest qualifier for the Futurity, ridden by Macario Rodriguez, was brushed a bit out of the blocks. Even with a clean break, Rodriguez admitted the winner was just too good.
"I started to make a little run late, but the other horse had something more," Rodriguez said.
Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle is another in a long line of Futurity winners for the elder member of the family.
Giles, who also finished third, fourth and eighth with his three other starters in the Futurity, has long been regarded as one of the finest quarter horse trainers in the state of New Mexico.
Sunday's win in the Four Corners Futurity will do nothing to alter that opinion.
Sent off as the second choice in the wagering at odds of 3.80-to-1, Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle returned $9.60 to her backers among the nearly 1,200 fans on hand for Father's Day racing at SunRay Park & Casino.
The victory pads Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle's career bankroll to just under $53,000 while picking up her third win from as many starts.
Runner-up Winter Haven was just a neck across the wire in front of Westernshines. Behind that one across the wire were Six T Five Roses, James Wild Injun, Famous Patriio, Jess Feelin Blue, Tresarainbow and BF Storm Chaser.
Cement Flats was scratched earlier in the day.
Live racing resumes Tuesday as the track makes preparations for closing weekend.
Only four more days of racing remain before the season comes to a close. SunRay Park will be running 10-race cards for the final four days, as opposed to the nine-race programs that have been running for the majority of the season.
Tuesday's featured event is the $65,000 Totah Stakes for New Mexico-bred 2-year-old thoroughbreds racing four and one-half furlongs.
A seven-horse field for the Totah is headlined by morning-line favorite Dandy Don Who, trained by Todd Fincher for owners Sam and Sammy Stevens.
A son of Quinton's Gold, Dandy Don Who most recently won the Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park. Undefeated in two starts, he will break from the outside post under regular rider Aldo Arboleda and has been installed as the 3-to-1 morning line choice.
The Totah will be the ninth race on the Tuesday program which has a first post time of 12:55 p.m.